Dangers of leaving children in hot cars - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dangers of leaving children in hot cars

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Many of us have said it to a passenger: "I'll only be inside for a few minutes." But when it comes to kids, it takes less time than that to get them out of a vehicle, and away from a potentially dangerous situation.

"All it is is a couple minutes to get the child in and out of the car, compared to a lifetime of tragedy if something happens," said Sgt. Denise Brotherton with Iowa City Police.

Sgt. Brotherton says there's simply no excuse for leaving a child in a car on a hot day. But even in relatively mild temperatures, the inside of a vehicle can quickly heat up, according to Dr. Joshua Pruitt at St. Luke's Hospital.

"Inside a closed car, the glass and the windows just act like a greenhouse," said Dr. Pruitt. "On a sunny day in the 80's, you can go up over a hundred in just a couple minutes inside a car."

But Dr. Pruitt says no matter how many precautions a parent takes, unfortunate mistakes do happen. If a child is left unattended in a hot vehicle, he says getting them cooled down with wet towels or ice packs is crucial.

"The first thing to do is call 9-1-1, and then you need to start getting that child cool."

And if you see a child alone in a hot car, Sgt. Brotherton says to be vigilant.

"We encourage people to get the license plate number, because we'll follow up with that, and make reports to the Department of Human Services."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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